Experienced Drug Users Assess the Relative Harms and Benefits of Drugs: A Web-Based Survey

 

A web-based survey was used to consult the opinions of experienced drug users on matters related to drug harms. We identified a rare sample of 93 drug users with personal experience with 11 different illicit drugs that are widely used in the UK. Asked to assess the relative harms of these drugs, they ranked alcohol and tobacco as the most harmful, and three “Class A” drugs (MDMA, LSD, and psilocybin) and one class B (cannabis) were ranked as the four least harmful drugs.

When asked to assess the relative potential for benefit of the 11 drugs, MDMA, LSD, psilocybin, and cannabis were ranked in the top four; and when asked why these drugs are beneficial, rather than simply report hedonic properties, they referred to potential therapeutic applications (e.g., as tools to assist psychotherapy). These results provide a useful insight into the opinions of experienced drug users on a subject about which they have a rare and intimate knowledge.

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  • terry hall on Help us treat depression!I would be very interested to hear about your research on your use of psychedelics , I would be very interested if you are looking for new volunteers for further trials , I am 50 years old and I have suffered with depression for 25 years and have fou…
  • Bob on The administration of psilocybin to healthy hallucinogen experienced volunteersHi, I have read your articles and I am currently on anti depressants. I have tried different kinds as I have mild PTSD from military service and suffer from depression constantly. I would very much like to assist and be a volunteer for future trials.
  • Chris noton on The administration of psilocybin to healthy hallucinogen experienced volunteersHello, I’m am 43 year old male living in oxford and suffered from depression and anxiety for 20 some years and I am a chronic suffer. I am very interested in participating on this type of drug trial. In my 20’s I have picked my own mushrooms once or…
  • Anonymous on Are you having a psychedelic experience in the near future?Hi All, I suffer from depression and anxiety and have done so for many years. After being placed on anti-depressants (again), I had a very bad response and the side effects of increased suicidal thoughts became unbearable. It was an everyday battle o…
  • J Moran on Help us treat depression!Hello, I am wondering if you have completed your research into the use of psychedelics to aid with depression. I suffer with it myself and want to know if you are still looking for volunteers? I am currently 20 years old, turning 21 in September. I a…
  • Leo Tognetti on The administration of psilocybin to healthy hallucinogen experienced volunteersHi Drew Thanks for sharing. What was your method?
  • Richard NAUGHTON on Help us treat depression!These mushrooms have powers beyond the understanding of the modern world that have been lost in translation since the dawn of man . I've used them and felt drawn to them and felt it was a calling . I collected them myself for 15 years ate them , drie…

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Relative Harms and Benefits of Drugs
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